Cook Co. Attorney Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct

Updated: 10/31/2013 2:28 PM By: Jennie Olson

Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, KSTP sister station WDIO-TV reports.

The news about the relationship broke nearly a year ago, and a special prosecutor has been investigating for the past seven months. Scannell has not yet entered a plea.

According to court documents, Scannell has known the girl since she was a child. Her family requested a restraining order against him last December, which says he confessed to being in love with her in September of 2012.  

WDIO-TV says the Cook County Sheriff's Office asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to look into the case, and Judge Shaun Floerke appointed former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger to consider charges.

A group of citizens has been protesting over Scannell's continued position as county attorney each Friday for months, and has said they will until Scannell leaves office. He's up for re-election next fall.

Scannell is now on medical leave, according to the county. He requested it about two weeks ago.

Scannell's attorney, Richard Swanson, says Scannell acted inappropriately but not criminally. He says Scannell is suffering from PTSD and depression since a courthouse shooting left him wounded.

Play the video to see WDIO-TV's report from Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.